Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeff Myers says the state had some sense that Crotched Mountain was planning to close its longtime specialty hospital in Greenfield because of ongoing financial challenges, ahead of its vote to do just that Monday night.
"The management did contact me a couple of months ago to let me know it was becoming harder and harder to sustain, and that the CEO was working with the board with respect to the future of the hospital and it was very possible this decision might occur."
Hospital officials, speaking to reporters after the closure was announced on Monday, said the possibility of closure had been looming as the facility struggled to avoid multimillion-dollar losses in recent years. Those officials said they spoke with patients, caregivers and staff prior to the vote to let them know closure might be a possibility.
Crotched Mountain says 29 patients currently staying at the hospital will need to be discharged or transferred to other facilities in the months ahead. That includes 24 adults and five pediatric patients who are also enrolled in Crotched Mountain Special Education School, according to a hospital spokesman.
Most of the patients are New Hampshire residents, but several hail from Illinois, Connecticut, New York and Vermont.
Meyers says the state is working with the hospital to transition patients who want to remain in the state into other New Hampshire facilities.
"There are some patients that desire to remain here in the state and so the department is working very closely to ensure a smooth transition for when it does close," Meyers said.